Frank L. Powell is the current Chief of the Division of Physiology and Professor of Medicine at UC San Diego, where he has been since 1980. He obtained his Ph.D. in respiratory and comparative physiology at UC Davis in 1978 and did pre- and post-doctoral training at the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine in Gottingen, Germany. His early research focused on respiratory gas exchange, comparative physiology and the advantages of the avian respiratory system during hypoxia at high altitude, and breath testing.
Frank's UCSD Profiles page lists his past publications and current grants.
Powell's research returned to studying control of breathing and chemoreceptors and continues to focus on the respiratory neurobiology of acclimatization to hypoxia, including molecular mechanisms and genetic determinants of neural plasticity, tolerance and susceptibility to chronic hypoxia. From 1995-2012, he directed the University of California's high altitude research laboratories at
White Mountain Research Station, which has ideal facilities for studying long-term hypoxia in humans. More recent collaborations with the UCSD
Division of Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Medicine are testing the clinical significance of results obtained from animal models in Powell's laboratory and human studies of high altitude natives with the
UCSD Center for Physiological Genomics of Low Oxygen.
Powell's teaching efforts are focused in the UCSD School of Medicine as director of interdisciplinary courses on the Pulmonary System for 1st and 2nd year medical and pharmacy students. He continues to teach graduate students in the Physiology track of the
Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program and supports career development and professional training through the
American Physiological Society. He mentors research trainees at pre- and postdoctoral levels as the co-director of an NIH institutional training grant for "Training the Next Generation of Respiratory Science", which is another collaboration with the Division of Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Medicine.